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5 things you give up for a puppy: part two

20 July 2011

Puppies are addition by subtraction. You’re going to have to give something up to get one and live with it. Consider the opportunity costs before you make the leap.

Here are three more things (the first two are here) that you will have to give up or may have to depending on whether you’ve been lazy in your pre-dog life. The first didn’t apply to our situation but it’s relevant to many people.

3. Sloth

If you’re a lazy guy, maybe a dog isn’t a good idea. They’re just like kids; they’re lots of work. And just like kids (if you ignore them) you’ll end up with unruly, ill-behaved miscreants and more than a few opportunities to explain to a youth correctional judge why Billy or Makayla should avoid another six months in Juvenile Hall.

Skip the puppy training and all of the other incidental labor that accompanies dog ownership, and you’ll have a Frankenstein Monster on four legs. You’ll have an adult dog that does what it wants, when it wants, until it bites somebody, gets hit by a car, or knocks up a neighbor’s AKC-registered collie.

This doesn’t even touch on what your house and yard are going to look like if you don’t continually clean them. They’re going to be smelly and filthy.

4. Lying on the grass in the backyard

We used to love our backyard. We used to have a green lawn. We used to love lying on our green grass on a warm summer weekend. All that is in the rear view mirror.

A substantial part of our green lawn is tan or dead. I don’t even golf but there are divots where Luna’s dug and chewed around. Unless we stoop and scoop every three hours, we’ll find at least one Luna leftover. Even if you pick it up, you’re unlikely to remove everything. And we live in Northern California where in a normal year (meaning not like 2011), we go without rain from mid-March to late-October so the “left-behinds” aren’t washed away despite a sprinkler system that irrigates what little green grass remains.

Alas, I don’t lie anywhere. If we want to lie in the backyard, the only logical and hygienic conclusion is to buy a hammock.

5. Money (A lot of it)

I can’t even give you an itemized amount but it is a lot. And a lot more than I ever thought we’d spend during the first eight months. I think we’re up to $4,500-$5,000. The $2,000 for Luna herself was just the beginning. It got a hell of a lot worse.

You’ve got scheduled vet bills, unplanned vet bills, food, dog toys, collars, treats the dog will eat, treats the dog will refuse to eat, training programs that work, and training programs that are either a scam or just aren’t well-developed. These are just items on the unavoidable list. And, of course, you’ll need someone to watch your dog when you’re away for days or weeks. Reliable kennels run at least $30 per day.

Opt for more discretionary items; including jewelry, statuary, clothing, any stuff  monogrammed with your dog’s name, RVs, or furniture, and you’ve made yourself a singular contributor to the rebirth of America’s economy.

This is just a short list of what you give up to get a puppy. A non-abbreviated list of what you really give up is much longer. If you could tally everything up before handing your check to the breeder, you might just cry, leave and pick up some fish and a small aquarium on the way home.

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